Projects

2018

Surrealismus Schweiz

Jean Viollier, L'épouvanteil charmeur III, 1928

Exhibition, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, September 1, 2018 to January 2, 2019, curated by Peter Fischer in collaboration with Julia Schallberger.

Catalogue, edited by Peter Fischer and Julia Schallberger, with texts by Peter Fischer, Stephan E. Hauser, Julia Schallberger, Hans-Peter Wittwer, Cologne, Snoeck, 2018, 280 pp., 380 ills. German and Italian versions.

For the first time an exhibition and a comprehensive catalogue will be dedicated to the Swiss representatives of this important twentieth century art movement. Surrealism in this country evolved in the interwar years between the poles of the Parisian avant-garde and of a climate of «national renewal». Besides the internationally well received protagonists living in Paris – Alberto Giacometti and Meret Oppenheim – there are a number of other Swiss artists developing their own surrealistic approaches. Hence, this project will deliver an overdue contribution to the historiography of twentieth century Swiss art.

2017

Daros at Beyeler

«Andy Warhol at his Best», essay by Peter Fischer in: Daros at Beyeler. Works from the Daros Collection at Fondation Beyeler 2010–2017, edited by Walter Soppelsa, 2017, ISBN 978-3-033-06309-9, available at the bookshop at Fondation Beyeler at CHF 58.

2016

Chinese Whispers

The world-renowned Sigg Collection reflects Chinese contemporary art since China first opened itself up politically and economically at the end of the 1970s. The Swiss journalist, businessman and diplomat Uli Sigg created it in the awareness of his uniqueness as a collector at this time. As the M+Sigg Collection, large parts of it have found their way into the newly established M+ Museum for Visual Culture, which will open in 2019 in a building by Herzog & De Meuron in Hong Kong.

The exhibition «Chinese Whispers. Recent Art from the Sigg & M+ Sigg Collections» (Kunstmuseum Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee, 2016, curated by Kathleen Bühler) was initiated and realised by the two Bern Directors Peter Fischer (Zentrum Paul Klee) and Matthias Frehner (Kunstmuseum Bern). It shows, probably for the last time in West on this scale, such an extensive selection from Uli Sigg’s work as a collector. It concentrates on the second generation of artists and thus follows on from «Mahjong», the first major presentation of the Sigg Collection in the Kunstmuseum Bern in 2005. It also returns to a theme that Peter Fischer first raised for discussion in the exhibition «Shanshui – Poetry without words. Landscape in Chinese Contemporary Art» in the Kunstmuseum Luzern in 2011, namely the meaning of tradition for contemporary Chinese art.

2015–2016

About Trees

Throughout human history, the tree has been a complex symbol for cultural understanding. The tree also appears as a motif in contemporary art. Artists use it to think about man and his relationship with nature, and hence about existence per se. The exhibition About Trees brought together works by more than 30 artists from all continents, including some works made specially for the exhibition. An interdisciplinary programme of events presented experts from a wide variety of specialist areas, and an action entitled ‘Der Baum und Ich’ invited visitors to contribute stories about trees to a public collection of tree stories.

About Trees, exhibition in the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, 2015–2016, curated by Peter Fischer and Brigitt Bürgi, with works by Carlos Amorales, Ursula Biemann & Paulo Tavares, Merjin Bolink, Louise Bourgeois, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Mark Dion, Peter Doig, Valérie Favre, Anya Gallaccio, Rodney Graham, John Isaacs, Naoko Ito, William Kentridge, Anselm Kiefer, Paul Klee, Zilvinas Landzbergas, Rosemary Laing, Ndary Lo, Paul McCarthy, Ana Mendieta, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Paul Morrison, Shirin Neshat, Jill Orr, Renzo Piano, Pipilotti Rist, Ugo Rondinone, Julian Rosefeldt, Michael Sailstorfer, George Steinmann, Wolfgang Tillmans, Su-Mei Tse, Shinji Turner-Yamamoto.

Thematic exhibitions, curated in collaboration with Brigitt Bürgi

Since 2002 Peter Fischer has been organising thematic exhibitions together with the artist and curator Brigitt Bürgi. Central to these are themes of existential dimension. The exhibitions live off an intense collaboration with contemporary international artists, as well as an emotional, intellectual and often a creative involvement of the public. The exhibitions promote an understanding of a contemporary artistic expression as a contribution to a reflection about being and acting in our world. They should be understood openly, undogmatically and at the same time to a great extent politically.

2015

Catherine Gfeller – ZIG ZAG ZPK

In terms of normal ‘business models’ between cultural institutions and artists, the artistic partnerships of the Zentrum Paul Klee initiated by Peter Fischer in 2012 are unusual collaborations. Rather than, as is customary, filling an exhibition space for a particular duration or organising an event at particular dates, the two partners, the museum and the artist, attempt to connect in a relaxed and not precisely defined combination and, so to speak, pursue their respective programmes, concerns and interests in parallel.

In a second artistic partnership following on Lutz & Guggisberg (2013–2014), curated by Peter Fischer in collaboration with Simone Büsch-Küng, Catherine Gfeller engaged intensely with the Zentrum Paul Klee as an institution and the work of the artist Paul Klee. ZIG ZAG ZPK incorporated a dozen partial projects in various media. Many of them were subtle interventions at unexpected places in the building, using channels of communication that were not normally used artistically, including the audioguide tour VOYAGE AU PAYS DE LA MEILLEURE CONNAISSANCE (Travel to the Land of Better Knowledge) through the building and its environments, which is permanently available beyond the duration of the project.

2015

FRUCHTLAND. Nature Culture Agriculture

In a revival of Renzo Piano’s original idea of using the surroundings of the Zentrum Paul Klee agriculturally, Peter Fischer and the agro-ecologist Fritz Häni have developed new concepts for the sustainable soil management of the area around the Zentrum Paul Klee, about 2.5 hectares, and first put them into operation in 2015. FRUCHTLAND is an interdisciplinary project, and works with various partner institutions. The changing focuses throughout the year follow planting and crop sequences, and the communication of the themes includes, among others, artistic concepts inspired by nature, from Paul Klee’s PRINCIPIELLE ORDNUNG to Mario Merz’s Fibonacci works.

2014

Antony Gormley. Expansion Field

Peter Fischer invited Antony Gormley to put on his first solo exhibition in a Swiss museum. In the big Maurice E. Müller exhibition hall at the Zentrum Paul Klee, all the walls were removed to create an empty space of almost 1,700 m2 surface area and a height of up to 11 metres. Gormley designed a new work, EXPANSION FIELD, consisting of 60 orthogonal sculptures made of Corten steel. Placed in a strict grid in the middle of the space, it contrasted and commented in an interesting way on the organic formal language of Renzo Piano’s architecture of the Zentrum Paul Klee.

2013–2014

Lutz & Guggisberg. Artistic partnership ZPK

In terms of normal ‘business models’ between cultural institutions and artists, the artistic partnerships of the Zentrum Paul Klee initiated by Peter Fischer in 2012 are unusual collaborations. Rather than, as is customary, filling an exhibition space for a particular duration or organising an event at particular dates, the two partners, the museum and the artist, attempt to connect in a relaxed and not precisely defined combination and, so to speak, pursue their respective programmes, concerns and interests in parallel.

In an elongated process in 2013–2014 the artist duo Andres Lutz and Anders Guggisberg presented works, performances and actions in the Zentrum Paul Klee. Since that time two works by Lutz & Guggisberg – the concrete sculpture ZUG and the intervention FENSTER FÜR GESPENSTER – have been permanently installed in the outside space of the Zentrum Paul Klee.

2010

Lebenszeichen/Signs of Life

With its media of the imagination, abstraction and narration, since its origins in the Palaeolithic era, art has engaged with the big questions of life. The exhibition in the Kunstmuseum Luzern included works by contemporary artists that allowed ancient, artistically traditional knowledge to flow into their work.

Lebenszeichen/Signs of Life. Ancient Knowledge in Contemporary Art, an exhibition in the Kunstmuseum Luzern, 2010, curated by Peter Fischer und Brigitt Bürgi, with works by Adel Abdessemed, Marina Abramovič, Sanford Biggers, Louise Bourgeois, Peter Buggenhout, Nathalie Djurberg, Amar Kanwar, Bharti Kher, Sigalit Landau, Tea Mäkipää, Ana Mendieta, Mariella Mosler, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero, Philip Taaffe, Su-Mei Tse.

Thematic exhibitions, curated in collaboration with Brigitt Bürgi

Since 2002 Peter Fischer has been organising thematic exhibitions together with the artist and curator Brigitt Bürgi. Central to these are themes of existential dimension. The exhibitions live off an intense collaboration with contemporary international artists, as well as an emotional, intellectual and often a creative involvement of the public. The exhibitions promote an understanding of a contemporary artistic expression as a contribution to a reflection about being and acting in our world. They should be understood openly, undogmatically and at the same time to a great extent politically.

2008–2013

Development Project Competence Centre for Art Education

In Lucerne in 2008, in collaboration with Brigitt Bürgi, Peter Fischer conceived the Entwicklungsprojekt Kompetenzzentrum für Kunstvermittlung (Development Project Competence Center for Art Education) which he ran until 2011, from 2009 in collaboration with Susanne Kudorfer.

At the interface between art, education and the public there is an area of tension of immense potential which is not used enough. In collaboration with various partner instituations, this project attempted a revision of current practices in art and above all in art education, as well as to develop, examine and encourage new forms. In terms of partnerships, the focus lay first on institutions of tertiary education in the Lucerne campus, particularly the Lucerne School of Art of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art. At the same time the project was to be linked up nationally and internationally, and exchanges were to be fostered. Last of all, it was about nothing less than critical and productive reflection on the future role of art and art education within an overall social context. The project was scheduled over a period of five years, and prepared the establishment of a specialist centre for art education with its own funding body.

Project partners: Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, Avina Stiftung, Gebert Rüf Stiftung, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Lucerne University of Applied Scîences and Art, Lucerne University of Teacher Education.

2005

A Kind of Magic

An exhibition with an interest in transformative processes. The works of the participating artists – many of them made specially for the exhibition – impact on the visitor’s sense of reality, they open up new passages and fresh horizons, they work cyclically and in processes, like the cycles that define and renew nature and life. The exhibition dealt with fire, earth, water and air, flying and immersion, black Snow Whites and Little Red Riding Hoods with their wolves, mountains of rice, carpets of flowers and the magic of glass, bridges that want to be crossed and above all artists working productively with contrasts.

A Kind of Magic. The Art of Transforming, an exhibition in the Kunstmuseum Luzern, curated by Peter Fischer und Brigitt Bürgi, 2005, with works by Stefan Banz, Dale Chihuly, Lori Hersberger, Carsten Höller, Rosemary Laing, Agnes Martin, Victorine Müller, Xie Nanxing, Bernie Searle, Kiki Smith, Nicoletta Stalder, Bill Viola.

Thematic exhibitions, curated in collaboration with Brigitt Bürgi

Since 2002 Peter Fischer has been organising thematic exhibitions together with the artist and curator Brigitt Bürgi. Central to these are themes of existential dimension. The exhibitions live off an intense collaboration with contemporary international artists, as well as an emotional, intellectual and often a creative involvement of the public. The exhibitions promote an understanding of a contemporary artistic expression as a contribution to a reflection about being and acting in our world. They should be understood openly, undogmatically and at the same time to a great extent politically.

2004–2007

Project Sammlung 04->06

After the reopening of the Kunstmuseum in KKL Luzern in 2000, a well-fed collection fund was used to cover massive operating deficits that had been run up in 2000/2001. After Peter Fischer, having been appointed Director of the Kunstmuseum Luzern in 2001, managed to achieve the turnaround in 2004, he initiated the project Sammlung 04–>06, recruiting the art historian Christoph Lichtin to the Kunstmuseum.

The project Sammlung 04->06 had four chief goals:
1. Re-accumulation of the collection fund.
2. Improving of the art-historical inventory and clearing of inherited burdens.
3. Publication of the collection in an online catalogue of the collection.
4. Communication of the collection in changing thematic presentations.

Partner in this project was the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, which declared itself willing to multiply the contributions from many patrons, both private and institutional, by a factor of three.

2003

me & more

The exhibition me & more addressed the subject of the self in the between the poles of individuality and dissolution. Deliberately extending the motto ‘Ich’ of the 2003 Lucerne Festival, the show in the Kunstmuseum Luzern strove for an experience of our own self, and particularly of its variable boundaries.

me & more, exhibition in the Kunstmuseum Luzern 2003, curated by Peter Fischer and Brigitt Bürgi, in collaboration with Susanne Neubauer, mit Werken von Magdalena Abakanowicz, Laylah Ali, Ross Bleckner, Antony Gormley, Yishai Jusidman, Barbara Kruger, Elke Krystufek, Urs Lüthi, Tajana Marusic, Ernesto Neto, Chloe Piene, Kiki Smith, Miao Xiaochun, Zhang Huan.

Thematic exhibitions, curated in collaboration with Brigitt Bürgi

Since 2002 Peter Fischer has been organising thematic exhibitions together with the artist and curator Brigitt Bürgi. Central to these are themes of existential dimension. The exhibitions live off an intense collaboration with contemporary international artists, as well as an emotional, intellectual and often a creative involvement of the public. The exhibitions promote an understanding of a contemporary artistic expression as a contribution to a reflection about being and acting in our world. They should be understood openly, undogmatically and at the same time to a great extent politically.

2002

Another World. Twelve Bedroom Stories

The bed is a refuge of peace, of sleep, of recreation, it is the place for pleasure and love, but also for illness and death. It is a site of transition, both the beginning and the end of the human life cycle lie in it, it is in bed that the boundaries of our lives are crossed. Birth, sleep, dream, nightmare, memory, ecstasy, renewal, death are events or conditions which, by abolishing the control of consciousness, open up new worlds. The exhibition made for the Kunstmuseum Luzern was arranged as a passage among twelve ‘dormitories’, and combined within itself closed groups of works or installations by twelve contemporary artists as well as works by Ferdinand Hodler from his famous cycle of the dying Valentine Godé-Darel.

Another World. Twelve Bedroom Stories, Exhibition in the Kunstmuseum Luzern 2002, curated by Peter Fischer und Brigitt Bürgi, in collaboration with Susanne Neubauer, with works by Louise Bourgeois, Eric Fischl, Robert Gober, Mona Hatoum, Ferdinand Hodler, Rebecca Horn, Ilona Németh, Yoko Ono & John Lennon, David Reed, Pipilotti Rist, Chiharu Shiota, Roman Signer, Hannah Wilke.

Thematic exhibitions, curated in collaboration with Brigitt Bürgi

Since 2002 Peter Fischer has been organising thematic exhibitions together with the artist and curator Brigitt Bürgi. Central to these are themes of existential dimension. The exhibitions live off an intense collaboration with contemporary international artists, as well as an emotional, intellectual and often a creative involvement of the public. The exhibitions promote an understanding of a contemporary artistic expression as a contribution to a reflection about being and acting in our world. They should be understood openly, undogmatically and at the same time to a great extent politically.

2000–2001

the power of art

With regard to opening up new museum exhibition spaces ‘Daros Exhibitions’ in Zurich’s Löwenbräu-Areal, Peter Fischer and Brigitt Bürgi developed a low-threshold art education concept. THE POWER OF ART concept for ‘Daros Art Education’ concentrated primarily on a young art audience, and its intention was above all to support teachers in making their pupils familiar with contemporary art.

Exemplary educational projects were developed around the first two exhibitions WARHOL POLKE RICHTER (summer 2001) and NAUMAN KRUGER JAAR (autumn 2001), and realised under the direction of Brigitt Bürgi. At the centre were participation as well as direct comparison between the works created by the participants and the original art works.

2000

Louise Bourgeois. The Insomnia Drawings

In acquiring the INSOMNIA DRAWINGS (1994–1995), one of the most significant series of drawings by Louise Bourgeois, the administrators of the Daros Collection, whose curator Peter Fischer was from 1995 until 2001, promised the artist that they would publicise the work appropriately. Peter Fischer was made responsible for the concept, editing and production of this outstanding publication. In facsimile, all 220 drawings are reproduced double-sided in 7-colour offset print using the traditional lithographic film procedure. The two-volume book, designed by Jean and Käthi Robert, was also available in a special limited edition with a bound-in original etching by Louise Bourgeois, and jointly published by Scalo and Peter Blum Editions.

1999

Abstraction, Gesture, Ecriture

High expectations were placed on the first publication of the Daros Collection, with regards to both the content and the printing and design. Peter Fischer, curator of the Daros Collection from 1995 until 2001, conceived a book that included and described groups of works by artists belonging to the basic holdings of the top-class collection chiefly of American art since the 1950s. The selection for Abstraction, Gesture, Ecriture was deliberately limited to gesturally or symbolically abstract works and included the artists Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Cy Twombly, Brice Marden, Robert Ryman, Andy Warhol, Jonathan Lasker, David Reed, Philip Taaffe und Jean-Michel Basquiat. The authors were Yve-Alain Bois, Enrique Juncosa, Rosalind E. Krauss, Richard D. Marshall and Brenda Richardson.